Residents concerned over possible closure of Mercy Philadelphia Hospital

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- About 100 people came to the Church of Christian Compassion to hear about plans to downsize or possibly shut down Mercy Philadelphia, the former Misericordia Hospital in West Philadelphia that has been in this community for over 100 years.

"Were talking about leaving the emergency room open," said Chris Cullom, president of Mercy Philadelphia Hospital.

Hospital officials say they are currently losing one to two million dollars a month. They are collaborating with partners on how they can keep some services open while transferring others to Fitzgerald Mercy about 4 miles away in Delaware County. But some residents who have counted on this hospital for years weren't giving up without a fight.

RELATED: Mercy Philadelphia Hospital plans to close emergency room, suspend inpatient services

"I'll be doggone, we're not gonna lose Mercy. God has already spoken," said one resident.

"I'm afraid what happened to Hahnemann University Hospital, it's gonna happen in the future with Misericordia Hospital, that it will change into apartments," said Tyrone Sims.

"I think that it's a lot of empty promises, I haven't heard anything tonight that the hospital will stay open and serve the many residents of West Philadelphia," said Ted Smith.

But hospital officials and residents who serve on the board caution that nothing has been written in stone.

"There's going to be an ongoing dialogue with the hospital and the community amidst all of the financial woes of the hospital, we're not rushing into anything," said Pastor W. Lonnie Herndon.

About 900 people are employed by the hospital and worry about losing their jobs. But officials say they hope to absorb most of those jobs elsewhere in its system no matter what happens.
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